Cyclist Injuries A Review of 2012 Casualties. Research Department, 6th August Údarás Um Shábháilteacht Ar Bhóithre Road Safety Authority

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1 Cyclist Injuries A Review of 2012 Casualties Research Department, 6th August 2014 Údarás Um Shábháilteacht Ar Bhóithre Road Safety Authority

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3 A review of cyclist casualties in 2012 This report has been prepared by the Research Department of the Road Safety Authority in response to an increase in cyclist injuries recorded in The collision data included in this report is based on cyclist collisions that occurred on public roads in Ireland in 2012 and were reported to An Garda Síochána, and these reports were subsequently transferred to the Road Safety Authority for analysis. 1

4 Summary of main findings In 2012 there was a 59% increase in the number of cyclists injured on Irish roads. A total of 630 cyclists were injured, the highest number in the last 10 years. By contrast, there was a decline in cyclist fatalities in 2012 (down from 9 to 8). The 2011 CSO Census Report has indicated that cycling is most popular among men, also in Dublin rather than in any other county. It noted a 9.6% increase in the number of people cycling to work between 2006 and Three quarters of cyclists injured in 2012 were male, while over half were aged The evening and morning rush-hour, followed by lunchtime, are the times of day when cyclists are most likely to be injured. The months May through to September represent the most dangerous months of the year for cyclists to be injured on our roads. Over 4 in 10 cyclists who were injured in 2012 were cycling for leisure purposes at the time of the collision, while almost 1 in 10 were cycling to/from work. Over 8 in 10 cyclist injuries occurred in built up, rather than in rural areas. Over half of cyclists injured in 2012 were injured when cycling in Dublin, by far the most dangerous county for cyclists. The most dangerous manoeuvres taken by drivers include right turns, followed by left turns. These manoeuvres by drivers account for almost 4 in 10 injuries to cyclists. Almost half of cyclists injured in 2012 were injured at junctions, with T-junctions representing the most dangerous type of junction. Three quarters of cyclists injured in 2012 were injured in daylight hours of good visibility. 2

5 Context: growing popularity of cycling Cycling is well known to be cheap, causes little pollution, and sustains health but cyclists are at risk of road traffic injuries from other road users. 1 According to the Central Statistics Office 2011 Census Report, there was a 9.6% increase in the number of people cycling to work between 2006 and 2011 (nationally), rising from 36,306 to 39,803. A further 21,374 people cycled to school or college in The 2011 census report showed men accounted for the majority (75%) of those cycling: 45,810 of the total of 61,177 cyclists were male.2% of the Irish population cycled to work or school in 2011 (see Figure 1 below). In 2011, 5% of all road users injured on the road were cyclists (see figure 2 overleaf). Injuries among cyclists are therefore disproportionately high relative to the cycling population. Figure 1: Means of travel (%), 2011 census Car Driver Car Passenger On Foot Bus, Minibus or Coach Other Means (incl. Lorry or Van) Train, DART or LUAS Bicycle Motorcycle or Scooter 19% 16% 11% 5% 3% 2% 0.4% 43% British Medical Association, Cycling: Towards Health and Safety. Wiley-Blackwell. World Health Organization, Quantifying the health benefits of cycling and walking. health-topics/disease-prevention/physical activity/activities/quantifying-the-health-benefits-of-cycling-and-walking. 3

6 Trends in injuries among cyclists Prior to 2012, cyclist injuries represented approximately 2%-5% of all road users injured annually. In 2012, however, there was a marked increase in the number of cyclists injured, up from 395 to 630, a 59% increase. Cyclists share of injuries (relative to other road user groups) increased from 5% in 2011 to 8% of all road users injured in 2012 (see figure 2a). This is the highest level of cyclist injuries observed since Figure 2a: Share of injuries by road user type, % 11% 13% 13% 11% 9% 8% 9% 9% 7% % 66% 73% 70% 68% 68% 69% 68% 70% 71% % 4% 20 8% 6% 6% 5% 5% 5% 5% 4% 4% 4% 10 2% 2% 3% 3% 4% 5% 5% 8% 13% 12% 11% 11% 11% 12% 11% 11% 13% 13% Other Road User Car Users Motorcyclists Pedal Cyclists Pedestrians The trend in the number of cyclists injured in collisions over the last 10 years is shown below. There were 630 cyclists who were classified by An Garda Síochána as sustaining a minor/serious injury in Figure 2b: Trend in cyclist injuries, All injuries

7 As illustrated in Figure 2c, the number of cyclists killed annually over the last 10 years peaked in 2007 (15 deaths); but since then there has been a declining trend in number of fatalities occurring annually. The number of serious injuries among cyclists declined in the period 2008 to 2010 but rose sharply in 2012, with almost 30 cyclists seriously injured in that year. (Note: An injury is deemed serious by the Garda, and not a medical professional, at the scene of a collision. Serious injuries are underestimated, and a proportion of minor injuries are likely to be serious.) Figure 2c: Cyclist deaths/ serious injuries, Serious Injuries Killed Gender and Age of Cyclist Casualties (All injuries; minor & serious) Three in four cyclists injured in 2012 were male (74%), while over half (57%) were aged years as illustrated in figure 3 below. Given the greater popularity of cycling among men (as per CSO), it stands to reason that the greater majority of injury collisions also occur among men. Significantly more males than females were injured in every age category. Figure 3: 2012 cyclist injuries by age & gender Male Female Unknown 5

8 When cyclists were injured Cyclist injuries peaked during May through to September. Over half (54%) of cyclists injured in 2012 were injured during these months. Figure 4: 2012 cyclist injuries by month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec More cyclist injuries occurred mid-week than on the weekend, most likely reflecting commuting patterns to and from work/school and habitual cycling routines. Figure 5: 2012 cyclist injuries by day of week Sun Mon Tues Wed Thu Fri Sat 6

9 Time of day The greatest number of cyclist injuries occurred in the evening rush hour between and (21%), but peaks were also observed early morning from 8am to 9am, and at lunchtime between and Figure 6: 2012 cyclist injuries by hour :00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 22:00 23:00 00:00 22 Light conditions The vast majority (75%) of cyclist injuries occurred in daylight hours with good visibility. Fewer than a quarter of injuries occurred in any type of poor lighting conditions. Figure 7: 2012 cyclist injuries by Light Conditions Dark Road/ Poorly Lighted 4% Dark/ No Lighting Unknown 1% 3% Daylight/ Poor Visibility 4% Dark Road/ Well Lighted 13% Daylight/ Good Visibility 75% 7

10 Trip purpose There was limited information available on the purpose of the trip of the cyclists who were injured in Where the purpose was stated, over 4 in 10 cyclists (44%) stated that they were cycling for leisure purposes when the collision occurred. Almost 1 in 10 (8%) were travelling to/from work, with a minority stating they were travelling to/from home (2%) or to/from school (1%). In case of almost half of the collisions, trip purpose was unknown. Figure 8: 2012 cyclist injuries by trip purpose To/From Work 8% To/From School To/From Home 1% 2% Unknown/ Not Stated 45% Other Leisure 44% 8

11 Vehicle manoeuvres of drivers In the vast majority of cases, cyclists were injured due to a collision with another vehicle. Where another vehicle was involved, over 8 in 10 (83%) of the cyclists injured in 2012 were injured due to a collision with a car while 1 in 10 (10%) were injured due to a collision with a goods vehicle. Figure 9: 2012 cyclist injuries by vehicles involved in two vehicle collisions Base: All cyclists injured in two vehicle collisions (n=586) Pedal Cycle / Car Pedal Cycle / Goods Pedal Cycle / Other-unknown Pedal Cycle / PSV Pedal Cycle / Motor Cycle 10% 3% 2% 1% 83% An analysis of the manoeuvres taken by drivers at the time of the collision shows that the most dangerous manoeuvres for cyclists in 2012 were a right turn taken by a driver (responsible for 1 in 5 injuries), followed by a left turn taken by a driver (1 in 6 injuries). Entering/exiting junctions and taking avoidance actions also represent high risk driver actions for vulnerable cyclists as illustrated in Figure 10. Figure 10: 2012 cyclist injuries by manoeuvres of drivers involved Base: All cyclists injured where driver manoeuvre is specified (n=486) Turning Right Turning Left Exiting / Entering Taking Avoidance Action Attempting to Overtake Changing Lanes Reversing Other 21% 15% 7% 4% 2% 1% 1% 50% Note: there was insufficient information available to report on the manoeuvres taken by cyclists at the time of the collision. 9

12 Location Over 8 in 10 (83%) cyclists injured were injured in collisions occurring in urban or built-up areas; and almost 9 in 10 (88%) occurred on two way single carriageways. Figure 11: 2012 cyclist injuries by urban/rural Rural 17% Built-Up 83% Figure 12: 2012 cyclist injuries by road type One-Way Single Carriageway 9% Dual Carriageway 3% Two-Way Single Carriageway 88% 10

13 Junction type Almost half (49%) of cyclists injured in 2012 were injured in collisions occurring at a junction; where the junction type was specified, it appears that T-junctions are the most dangerous junction types for cyclist injuries (52% of collisions at junctions occurred at this junction type), followed by cross-roads and roundabouts. Figure 13: 2012 cyclist injuries by junction type Base: All cyclists injured where junction of collisions is specified (n=308) T Junction Crossroads Roundabout Complex Junction Y Junction 4% 2% 24% 18% 52% Injury breakdown by county Just over half (53%) of cyclists injured in 2012 were injured in a collision occurring in Dublin. The capital represents by far the greatest proportion of injury collisions involving cyclists, as other major urban centres such as Cork, Galway and Limerick represent a much smaller proportion of injury collisions. According to the 2011 census report, 6% of those living in Dublin cycle to work (see Figure 16 appendix). However, given that 17% of those injured on our roads in Dublin in 2012 were cyclists (figure 15 appendix), this indicates that cyclists in Dublin are over-represented in injury figures by almost a factor of three. Cycling is therefore a particularly dangerous mode of travel in Dublin per cyclist population. Figure 14: 2012 cyclist injuries by county Dublin Cork Galway Limerick Louth Kildare Kerry Other 7% 5% 4% 4% 3% 3% 53% 21% Note: see table 1 in appendix for full county breakdown 11

14 Appendix Figure 15: Share of injuries by road user type and county in 2012 Dublin Cork Galway Limerick 17% 6% 20% 53% 6% 6% 14% 67% 6 7% 3% 11% 71% 1% 7% 6% 2% 13% 71% 7% 1% 3% Cyclists Motorcyclists Pedestrians Car Users PSV Other Louth Kildare Kerry Other 7% 2% 11% 72% 1%6% 7% 3% 10% 73% 7% 7% 5% 9% 72% 6% 4% 3% 9% 75% 8% Figure 16: % share of means of travelled to work by main population centres in 2011 (census data) 1% 1% 1% Aggregate Rural Area 5% 75% 4% 12% 1% Remainder of Urban Area 12% 4% 3% 2% 67% 6% 6% Waterford City & Suburbs 14% 3% 67% 8% 4% Galway City & Suburbs Limerick City & Suburbs Cork City & Suburbs Dublin City & Suburbs 17% 5% 6% 62% 6% 4% 2% 16% 4% 66% 6% 4% 15% 2% 6% 1% 65% 6% 4% 14% 6% 14% 8% 1% 51% 3%3% On Foot Bicycle Bus, Minibus or Coach Train, DART or LUAS Motorcycle or Scooter Car Driver Car Passenger Van 12

15 Table 1: 2012 cyclist injuries by county County Injuries % Carlow 1 0 Cavan 1 0 Clare 13 2 Cork 46 7 Donegal 7 1 Dublin Galway 33 5 Kerry 17 3 Kildare 19 3 Kilkenny 8 1 Laois 11 2 Limerick 25 4 Longford 3 0 Louth 24 4 Mayo 5 1 Meath 13 2 Monaghan 2 0 Offaly 6 1 Roscommon 6 1 Sligo 5 1 Tipperary 7 1 Waterford 12 2 Westmeath 10 2 Wexford 6 1 Wicklow 15 2 TOTAL

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18 Working to Save Lives Údarás Um Shábháilteacht Ar Bhóithre Road Safety Authority Páirc Ghnó Ghleann na Muaidhe, Cnoc an tsabhaircín, Bóthar Bhaile Étha Cliath, Béal an Átha, Co. Mhaigh Eo. Moy Valley Business Park, Primrose Hill, Dublin Road, Ballina, Co. Mayo. locall: tel: (096) / (096) fax: (096) / (096) website:

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